Aung San Suu Kyi Released – A Message from The Edge
I’m sure, like us, you’re delighted with the news of the release of Aung San Suu Kyi in Burma at the weekend. We should all be relieved, if cautious, that she has been able to take a step towards freedom.
However, we must remember that her release is not part of any political process but is designed to get positive publicity for the dictatorship after the blatant rigging of elections on 7th November. We must not forget the thousands of other political prisoners still suffering in Burma’s jails and must do whatever we can to encourage the international community to engage the junta in dialogue.
We will continue our support of this remarkable woman and her campaign, and as always we count on your continued input and continued vigilance.
Edge has a point. There are at least another 2,202 “dissidents” in prisons and under house arrest throughout Burma.
“The release of Aung San Suu Kyi is about public relations, not democratic reform,” said Zoya Phan, International Coordinator at Burma Campaign UK. “I am thrilled to see our democracy leader free at last, but the release is not part of any political process, instead it is designed to get positive publicity for the dictatorship after the blatant rigging of elections on 7th November. We must not forget the thousands of other political prisoners still suffering in Burma’s jails.”
The fact of the matter is that this is the third time Suu Kyi has been released from arrest. The last time she was released, in 2002, it was part of a UN-led initiative to try to persuade Burma’s dictatorship to enter into dialogue leading to a transition to democracy. It remains to be seen whether this will simply be another of those occasions where, as soon as global attention shifts elsewhere, the charm offence by the junta is ended, and we go back to singing “Walk On…” for her again.
To read more about the challenges facing a Free Burma and U2’s continuing efforts to highlight the situation go here U2 ONLINE.